USS Nimitz strike group leaves Apra Harbor; begins dual carrier operations with USS Reagan


After a four-day Safe Haven Liberty at Naval Base Guam, the USS Nimitz Carrier Strike Group is back out to sea.

The Ship and her crew left Apra Harbor Sunday, after arriving last Wednesday, June 24.

The Navy published a news release saying the Nimitz will meet the Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group to conduct dual carrier operations in the Philippine Sea.

The ships and aircraft assigned to both strike groups began coordinated operations in international waters starting Sunday, June 28.

“We aggressively seek out every opportunity to advance and strengthen our capabilities and proficiency at conducting all-domain warfighting operations,” said Rear Adm. George Wikoff, commander Carrier Strike Group 5. “The U.S. Navy remains mission ready and globally deployed. Dual carrier operations demonstrate our commitment to regional allies, our ability to rapidly mass combat power in the Indo-Pacific, and our readiness to confront all those who challenge international norms that support regional stability.”

Officials say while deployed, the carrier strike force is conducting integrated exercises and operations that maintain responsive, flexible, and enduring commitments to mutual defense agreements with allies and partners in the Indo-Pacific.

U.S. Navy aircraft carriers have conducted dual carrier strike group operations in the Western Pacific, including the South China Sea and Philippine Sea for years. These operations typically occur when strike groups deployed to 7th Fleet from the West Coast of the United States join 7th Fleet’s forward-deployed carrier strike group in Japan.

Last week, the Nimitz and Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Groups conducted dual carrier operations.

“Only the U.S. Navy can integrate a carrier strike force on this scale and consistently project power to protect freedom of the seas,” said Rear Adm. James Kirk, commander, Carrier Strike Group 11. “With more than 10,000 U.S. Navy Sailors from across the world working together as one cohesive team, these operations are what keep us ready to respond to any contingency.”

The U.S. Navy says it regularly conducts integrated strike group operations to support a free and open Indo-Pacific, and promote an international rules-based order wherein each country can reach its potential without sacrificing national sovereignty.

The Nimitz Carrier Strike Group consists of the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68), Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 17, the guided-missile cruiser USS Princeton (CG 59), the guided-missile destroyers USS Sterett (DDG 104), and USS Ralph Johnson (DDG 114).

The Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group consists of the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5, the guided-missile cruiser USS Antietam (CG 54), and guided-missile destroyer USS Mustin (DDG 89), and is forward deployed to Yokosuka, Japan and routinely conducts security and stability operations in the Indo-Pacific.

While at Naval Base for liberty from Wednesday to Sunday, Nimitz sailors were limited to a designated safe haven area.

Joint Region Marianas Public Affairs Officer, LCDR Rick Moore confirmed that because of the Navy’s updated COVID-19 precautions, personnel on liberty were limited in movement.

“Due to COVID-19 precautions, personnel on liberty will be limited to a designated safe haven area within the confines of the pier and designated beach area. Sailors will be able to take part in recreation and morale activities on the beach and pier, but will not physically interact with any base personnel or anyone not part of the ship’s crew,” said Moore.

The measures were put in place to avoid bringing the virus onto the ships.

Naval Base Guam has been designated as a Safe Haven Liberty Port by the U.S. Navy.